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Welcome To The Speed Trap

We are a car law agency providing car documentation, insurance, and assistance with legal matters. We have been serving our clients for over 20 years, providing them with the best advice for responsible driving. We also handle international car transportation and driving matters with the right applications and approvals from international car law authorities.

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The Legal Considerations of Fleet Management

Running an active fleet of vehicles is no small undertaking. From maintaining their usability to hiring the right drivers, there is a lot to think about and control on a day to day basis.

It is important not to overlook the legal implications of fleet management. Failing to give the topic its due attention can lead to serious consequences both for drivers and the businesses they work for.

In this article, we explore the legal considerations of fleet managements, focusing both on direct legal requirements as well as issues that may lead to penalisation if not properly considered.

Insurance

In the UK, it will come as no surprise that correctly insuring your vehicles is a legal requirement.

When it comes to insuring your fleet, special consideration should be paid to all eventualities. For example, you may insure your fleet just for those who are in positions that primarily use the vehicles. However, you must ask yourself whether there is any possibility that another individual within the business may drive a vehicle, even if in a brief moment such as moving it from one place to another.

In the case that not all employees are insured to drive all vehicles, each individual’s coverage should be communicated to avoid potential issues.

Road Worthiness

Keeping your fleet roadworthy is a crucial part of correct fleet management. The UK government consider it so important in fact that they have published guidelines on monitoring and maintaining the condition of your vehicles.

As fleets are usually made up of heavy and potentially dangerous vehicles, as an employer you have a duty of care to your employees and the general public to ensure that your vehicles are safe on the road.

Doing this involves a combination of driver checks on every use and scheduling regular professional inspections and maintenance.

Speeding

Speeding is, of course, illegal for all road users.

Although occasionally seen as an inconvenience, speed limits are there to protect road users and the public. Not only can failing to adhere to them be dangerous but being caught doing so can have serious implications for your business such as hefty fines and even losing drivers to bans.

It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that they are following the guidance on speed at any given time, however, businesses should support their efforts. You may do this by providing them with technology that clearly communicates the speed limit at any given time or even by restricting vehicles to ensure dangerous speeds are never met.

Operating Heavy Equipment

Operating heavy equipment and lifting heavy loads have legal considerations from a health and safety point of view. Although the correct monitoring and maintenance of your fleet will ensure roadworthiness, correctly briefing your employees on best practice will help ensure safety across the board.

Supplying your team with the appropriate tools will help you meet your duty of care. For example, if a heavy load needs to be collected, you may choose to rent a specialist vehicle such as an hook loader hire to safely undertake the task.

Brexit

As time goes by we are beginning to be drip-fed information on what the UK may look like after Brexit takes full effect. However, there are also many areas which remain undecided. Practically, this means that fleet managers do not yet have a full picture of how Brexit may impact their day to day job.

Keeping up to date with the latest news regarding the UK’s departure from Europe is crucial to ensuring that you are complying to any new legal requirements. Specifically, this is likely to affect the travel in and out of Europe and the associated paperwork and licences required to do so.

As a busy fleet manager, diving into legality might be the last thing on your mind. However, understanding the various areas that need special consideration is crucial in ensuring that you do not run into legal complications further down the road.

The 2020 Guide to Buying a Used Truck

When it comes to purchasing a vehicle there is always the choice of new or used. There are of course benefits to both, but obvious price differences to consider as well. While new may have more features or a shinier coat, used may actually end up more cost-efficient or better suited to your needs. Here’s what you need to know before choosing your new ‘used’ truck.

Why Choose Used?

The lure of ‘new and improved’ is strong, but don’t jump the gun just yet. There are plenty of great reasons why ‘used’ may be your best option to consider.

  • Let’s start with the obvious. While it is possible to get some types of new vehicles at similar cost to used, there will be a loss in features to give you that price. When buying a used truck you will still get the features you need, at a better price.
  • Insurance Cost. You are insuring a lesser ‘replacement’ amount on a used vehicle. Therefore, your premiums will be lower due to the lower cost to replace the vehicle.
  • Features: You get more bang for your buck. If you have a set budget, and you’re looking for specific features, or just a practical, solid, proven over time truck, your best bet is to look for a used truck.
  • Reviews: Brand new models can often have faults and weaknesses that aren’t identified or changed until they are noticed a few years later. You’ll get a wider range and higher number of reviews to look at if you’re investigating a used model.

A new commercial delivery truck will set you back about $165,000, whereas used you are looking at 30-50k, that is a massive difference in price, and just a few years difference in age. Most features and functions remain the same too with only minor changes over the last 10yrs unless you’re buying an electric truck.

For pick-up trucks the price gap is not as big. New you can get somewhere around 30-60k and for a decent used one it’s close to the 20k mark usually. So not as big of a gap in price, but used is still a great option for both truck types.

Which Used Trucks are Best?

With both pick-up trucks and larger delivery trucks it’s ideal to purchase trucks less than 10yrs old. However for larger commercial use trucks some opt for slightly older, trucks produced between 1997 to 1999 seem to be favourable. If you’re a new or small business and want a good deal on a delivery truck then trucks from 1997-1999 will be a lot cheaper than within 10yrs, around 20k as opposed to 30-50k for less than 10yrs old.

Some companies actually prefer these older models, regardless of the cost because they are still fairly modern looking and have less digital features. This can be good because electronic logging devices, EGR’s and DPF filters have caused a number of engine problems.

Some may be after pick-up trucks for work or personal use, or larger trucks for business use. So we have provided the top 3 for each category. You can find more information on each of the trucks listed here through Carmax, or JapaneseCarTrade for the commercial trucks.

Top 3 Pick-Up Trucks

All Available for under $25k

Dodge Ram 1500 (2014)

The Ram features a choice of 3 cab styles, cruise control, automatic headlights and a six-speaker sound system. It’s an overall all-rounder truck, smooth driving with a solid frame.

Ford F-150 (2013)

This model features limited edition trim options, hill descent control and a selection of engine options. It also has a good sized touch screen for information and entertainment.

Chevrolet Colorado (2016)

The Colorado is a little smaller than the similar and also very popular Silverado. This mid-sized truck boasts easier parking due to it’s size and rearview camera. It also has an impressive 6 speaker sound system, 3 engine options and a touchscreen for infotainment.

Top 3 Logistics Trucks

Mercedes Benz Actros 2653

This truck has great fuel economy, especially in the 13L option. The engine is located in the lower cab which also gives it additional benefits in aerodynamic performance. Mercedes is not the cheapest brand, but easily one of the most popular and common to find for sale.

Mitsubishi Fuso Canter

This medium duty truck has maintained it’s popularity for years now. You can also find a used Eco Hybrid version of this truck, and Mitsubishi is working on a fully electric ‘e Canter’.

Mitsubishi Fuso Fighter

This truck offers possibly the best value for money. The Fuso is durable, has good handling and a good re-sale value when it comes time to upgrade.

If instead of a used truck you are looking to buy new visit TR Group.

Insurance Considerations

In order to get a good insurance policy, at a reasonable price on a used truck you will need to consider age. A generally safe time frame for a truck to be insurable, is within the last 15yrs, ideally the last 10 years for best rates. Trucks older than 15years you will still be able to find an insurance policy, however you will end up paying a higher amount, as your truck is more likely to break down etc. Aside from that you would be risking higher maintenance and running costs with a truck over that age anyway, which most wouldn’t see as wo

A Complete Guide to UK Speeding Fines

Did you know that hundreds of thousands of people receive a penalty notice for speeding in the UK each year? Unfortunately, you may not receive just a fine, as there can be other implications for breaking the law. In this guide, we’ll be covering the punishment for each speeding offence, whether it be minor or serious.

All types of motorists could be caught speeding for any given reason, some may be late to work, others may be in an emergency, there are even those that drive dangerously and want to test the limits of their car’s engine. Aside from the negative consequences of law breaking, your insurance premium may also skyrocket.

One area that is seeing an increasing number of drivers speeding are those in the delivery sector. This is because several companies pay them for the number of deliveries, they can make. This is not just for typical online orders through Amazon either, it is now also prevalent in the hot fast-food delivery sector. This has meant that specialist cover such as food delivery insurance is now a requirement for those working in this type of business. Anyone who is looking to work for Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats will be looking into these types of policies to ensure they have sufficient cover.

Speeding fines

Those who are caught speeding on a public road will receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of a £100 fine along with three points on their license. Some drivers may be offered the option to attend a speed awareness course allowing them to avoid the three points. Eligibility will be dependent on which police force is managing the offence.

The National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme manages these speed awareness courses in the UK (excluding Scotland), and states that only those who haven’t been convicted of any other speeding offences in the last three years will be able to take this course.

There are even cases where the punishment can be far more drastic. Some drivers could be prosecuted in court resulting in a much larger fine, additional points on the license or even banned from driving temporarily or permanently. This is why it’s important to prioritise safety and drive carefully. Ask yourself, is it really worth putting yourself and others in danger and risk losing your license just to get home from work 10 minutes earlier, or make a little extra money by completing a few more food delivery orders.

Police forces will generally only prosecute those who are seen as serious offenders. This could be someone who has far exceeded the speed limit or breaks the law repeatedly. No matter how you look at it, driving 41mph in a 40mph zone is still illegal. The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) does recommend giving drivers a ‘10% leeway’, which police officers can use in their discretion. Although, it’s important to remember that this is only advice, and you will still be classed as breaking the law and could be prosecuted. Some motorists believe that speed cameras are set to only be activated when driving above 10% of the speed limit. This may be true for some cameras but isn’t systematically used across the board. Regardless, you should not be breaking the speed limit.

What happens if you’re caught speeding?

What happens next will largely depend on the severity of the committed speeding offence. Offences can be broken down into both minor and serious crimes.

Minor offences

Anyone who has been flashed by a speed camera will have to wait 14 days for confirmation. This is how long the police have to issue a driver with a ‘notice of intended prosecution’ (NIP). This will be sent in the post to the vehicle’s registered keeper.

You may be given the option to take a speed awareness course, which lasts about half a day, and you will be expected to pay for this. This allows you to avoid penalty points and retain a clean license. The police force will dictate eligibility.

Serious offences

For serious speeding offences, a speed awareness course will most likely not be an option. Exceeding the limit by more than 10% will likely result in three to six penalty points on your license and a minimum £100 fine. You will have 28 days to pay the fine, and the points will be applied against your driving license. Failure to comply may result in court action. Very serious speeding offences will result in a £1000 fine – £2500 for speeding on a motorway. These will automatically be referred to the court.

Any motorist who receives more than 12 points on their driving license within a three-year period could be disqualified from driving. You will have the option after four years to apply for these points to be removed.

If you believe that you have been given a speeding fine or prosecuted unfairly, you could appeal this by completing the relevant section on the Notice of Intended Prosecution within 28 days. Think carefully before you dispute this, as you may be required to go to court to challenge the given conviction. At this stage, it may be worth considering legal advice from an accredited professional.

In summary, speeding fines are there for a reason – to keep you and everyone else safe, particularly with night driving when there is fewer cars on the road and fatigue can cause a lack of concenrration.. Always follow the law, think twice before endangering your own life and those around you.

All You Need to Know About Speed Traps

Trap

Speed traps have been subjected to various kinds of conclusions over the past couple of years. A lot of people tend to base different theories around the same, imaging them to be an essential part of the analysis. So to clear things up and bring the truth forward, we decided to enter and set things straight. By looking through relevant sources, we have laid out all that you need to know about speed traps. Read on below.

1. The Basics

Although a speed trap sounds like an elaborate way to raise efficiency in traffic conditions, reality states a different story. At times, the method can also be applied as a move to raise money and take things forward in that direction. But the individuals who operate the same will never admit it for obvious reasons. Looking deeper into this aspect, you can take Californian Law as an example. According to the law, a speed trap is defined as an artificially low-speed limit that is also combined with excessively high enforcement. But all states have adopted a standard engineering test for road safety with the purpose of establishing speed limits.

Speed

2. The Techniques

To get things clarified, let’s now look into a particular technique known as the pedal test. So, here’s a step by step take on the pedal test.

  • The process is simple as drivers reach a speed sign with a lower speed that is posted.
  • They then go ahead to lift their feet from the gas pedal.
  • Soon after that, they coast to a new legal speed that stands to be the new norm.
  • As a result, they should not have to apply brakes to avoid a traffic ticket.

Speed traps are quite efficient in measuring speed close to the sign-in violation of the pedal test. Apart from that, certain other speed traps set up a series of different speeds within a reasonably short distance. Due to that, drivers will find it hard to avoid, and if they do, then it moves forward to be a violation. That particular violation stands to be true regardless of it being one or two mph.

Over the past, speed traps are also known to be major obstructors when it comes to other signs. As a result, unintentional violations will surface, and things will go a bit out of control. On the other hand, these violations will, in turn, raise money, just like how the speed trap did. A state of confusion may strike the driver, but he/she will have to pay since it is also a violation. Hence, that sums up a detailed take on speed traps.

 

How to cut car insurance costs during this current COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has created the biggest economic disaster in many years. The length and true outcomes of the pandemic aren’t known yet, but many people are losing their jobs and trying to cut costs as a result.

So far in the US alone, more than 36.5 million people have registered for unemployment in in March, April and May. Going from a flush economy to one where sixty percent of people are worried about how they can pay their household bills is a big fall.

With job losses, lock-down and a general fear of CV19, people are driving a lot less than they used to. There are reports that people are driving up to 58% less than before. A combination of less income and less car use has made people look at the giant paperweight in their driveway and consider cutting costs.

Don’t cancel your car insurance

While it might seem like a good idea for now, it could be a costly error that exposes you to some bigger problems in the future.

First, the obvious. Cancelling your car insurance means you have no cover if something happens. While you’re not driving your car as much, any time you take it out of the driveway, you’re opening yourself up to risk. And even leaving it in your driveway could be a problem, with a rise in car thefts hitting many parts of the world. If your car is damaged or stolen, you have no way of recovering funds.

Secondly, depending on your plan, you might not save that much. If you have a joint home-car-contents policy, there could be discounts applied for having everything with the one insurer. Removing the car insurance might mean removing that discount.

Thirdly, in some countries and states, insurance is a legal requirement. You could be prosecuted or face fines.

Finally, this could affect your insurance costs in the future. Insurers do offer discounts to long term customers, and terminating your policy is terminating the discounts. They will often query the coverage gap when applying for new insurance too.

Instead out outright cancelling your policy, there are other things you can do.

Contact your insurer

The Financial Conduct Authority has released guidelines for insurers in dealing with COVID-19 insurance problems. This governing body recognises that people are struggling financially and has urged insurers to take steps to assist people in remaining financially solvent and still be able to pay their insurance premiums.

Your insurer has a raft of options to hand to help make this more affordable to you. They can consider:

Payment plans: Some insurers are offering payment plans. Yours might be open to this.

Extended delivery coverage: If you’ve lost your job and have temporarily taken on being a delivery vehicle, your car should be subject to extra insurance. But some companies have loosened up on these rules, extending existing personal coverage to delivery driver coverage.

A premium ‘holiday’: Generally, if you miss a premium payment, the insurance company cancels the policy within a week or two. However, there are currently extended grace periods of up to two months. While the total owing will still remain the same, you have longer to come up with the funds- and you’re still covered in the interim.

Waiving late fees and penalties: If you missed a car insurance payment, you can express your financial problems and ask them to waive the fees.

Ask for a higher deductible: If you excess/ deductible is higher, your premiums are lower. Especially if you are using your car a lot less and it’s parked securely, this could be a good option in the short term.

Change the type of cover: If you have comprehensive insurance, consider dropping it back to third-party insurance. If your car isn’t worth much anyway, this could save some serious money.

As well as these options, there are also some discounts or temporary reductions available.

Discounted insurance

Pick up that phone and have a chat with your insurer. It’s the single best option available to you. And, you don’t know until you try.

Multi-policy discounts: As alluded to before, if you have all your insurance with one insurer, there can be huge discounts. Take a holistic look at all your insurance expenses. Home, contents, car, business, life, and health. If you haven’t already, can you bundle these up with one insurer? Go shopping and see who can offer the biggest savings. This could be anything from 5% to 25%.

Multi-car discounts: If you have more than one car, make sure they are insured with the same company. There could be savings of up to 25%.

New car discount: Some insurers offer a new-car discount, for any vehicles up to three years old.

Anti-theft discount: If your car has anti-theft devices and features, you could be eligible for this car insurance discount.

Good driver discount: If you’ve never had an accident, congratulations. You might be eligible for a wide range of discounts on your car insurance.

Do you belong to any professional organisations? Sometimes your job, associations and organisations that you belong to give you access to discounts. It’s worth asking your employer or groups you belong to.

Many of these policy options and savings won’t be mentioned to you, so make sure you’re prepared to ask for specifics.

Put some thought in and avoid cancelling insurance

Car accidents have dropped significantly due to the fact that fewer people are using their cars. Some insurers are offering lower premiums, discounts and credits as a result. If you are in financial distress, call your insurer, speak to them, and investigate every policy and every discount option. Most people are sympathetic and will try to help. Cancelling should be an absolute worst-case scenario, and to be avoided at all costs.

How Average Speed Cameras Work – And How To Avoid A Fine

Average speed camera

If you have been fined for driving a car at one mile per hour, there is a chance that you might have been caught by the speeding camera. These cameras are like monitors which allow people to stay in their driving limits which also saves lives. It is found by studies that these speed  cameras have allowed people to cut down on their speed. This is one of the main reasons that there was a rapid uptake in the use of average speed cameras which lasts over 12 months.

How do these speed cameras work?

There is a change the drivers can easily dodge the traditional cameras by hitting the brakes before the flashlight. But with an average speed camera, you can easily install lamp posts and mount them everywhere. You can start by looking at the number of plates and can continuously have a record of cars which can help with average speed calculated by the baseline distance. Even if you are slowing down under the camera, there is a high chance that you are caught even between the two posts. This is one of the best ways to embrace a safe driving style which can help one pay close attention to the speed over time.

speed-camera

Other things to keep in mind

  • These cameras are set everywhere not just to capture bikes but all kinds of vehicles.
  • With Average speed cameras being digital, they can dish out an unlimited number of fines.
  • These cameras are equipped with infrared night vision which can make it possible to track no matter the weather or light outside.
  • There is no chance that you can dodge the fines by just changing your lanes as the picture are still caught and get you fined.
  • Most cameras are not sequenced to be paired and can be compared between the first and fourth camera. But you need to make sure that you are on the separate section of the road to keep the track on everything.
  • If you think that you are exceeding the speed limit at any time, you can slow it down.
  • Less than 10% over the limit is the buffer but still can be fined for driving over the speed limit.

How to avoid getting fines

Fines

There are many tips and tricks that people might have tried, but not all of them can help you avoid getting fines. These speeding cameras are some of the most accurate cameras which can catch any shift in the speed limit, which eventually lead to a fine. If you are wondering ways to avoid any speeding tickets from the speeding cameras, one thing you can do is to ensure that you are speeding. There is no other way which ensures that you can avoid a fine.